Gran Canaria, Spain
A commercial pilot used his multilingual skills to outsmart and capture an armed hijacker last week. A Boeing 737 had just taken off from the African country of Mauritania with 79 people on board bound for Spains Canary Islands, when a man waving two guns demanded it be rerouted to France, so he could claim asylum. The Arabic-speaking pilot realized the man could not speak French, so he announced over the intercom in French that he planned to trip the hijacker upon landing, by braking hard then speeding up. The plan worked, and the hijacker fell down. Flight attendants then threw boiling water from a coffee machine in his face, and about 10 passengers jumped on him, disarmed him, and beat him.